What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is an umbrella term for a family of human-made clays that are pliable and soft until baked or heated, at which point they assume a permanently hard state. It is a type of oven-bake modeling clay composed of resins, polymers, fillers, and coloring agents. Available in a multitude of colors, including glow-in-the-dark, metallics, and granite, polymer clay is a versatile material that will retain its color and size after the baking process. Thanks to these characteristics, polymer oven-bake clay can be used to simulate materials such as wood, porcelain, stone, and faux stones.

Loved by a wide range of crafters, from kids and students to adults, polymer clay is a polyvinyl chloride compound combined with a plasticizer for flexibility and multiple fillers for color and texture. Along with its ease of use and brilliant colors, the clay can be formed into various shapes, such as beads, wall hangings, detailed miniatures and holiday ornaments.

Benefits of Creating With Polymer Oven-Bake Clay

As an incredibly malleable plastic, polymer clay can be shaped and reshaped several times without deterioration. Polymer clay can also remain workable even if it sits around for years — as long as it is stored away from direct sunlight and excessive heat.

Polymer clay is typically used to make craft jewelry and decorative parts and ornaments in commercial applications. You can even find pieces made from polymer clay in major museums today.

Because polymer oven-bake clay is highly pliable. Makers of all ages use Sculpey clay to make alluring crafts, dolls, small sculptures, jewelry, home decoration, and more. 

Polymer oven-bake clay does not require a professional oven or kiln for curing. Simply follow the product package directions for baking in a toaster oven or home oven. Oven-bake clay can be:

  • Cut with tools
  • Shaped
  • Rolled
  • Pressed into molds
  • Drilled
  • Painted
  • Sanded after baking

Tips for Using Polymer Oven-Bake Clay

Tips for using polymer oven-bake clay

you can use our oven-bake clay in a variety of ways. For a streamlined process, make sure to abide by the following polymer clay tips:

  • - Protect your surface area:  Many modeling clays contain ingredients that may stain or damage finished surfaces. Do not place unbaked clay on furniture, plastic, flooring, carpeting, or fabric. Protect finished surfaces by using unbaked polymer clay products on a glass or metal surface, or use disposable foils or wax parchment paper beneath your work. The Sculpey® Oven-Safe Work Matis an excellent surface because it not only protects your surface but then you can put it in the oven and bake your clay creations right on it! 
  • - Condition your oven-bake clay: Work with the clay and warm it in your hands before you begin sculpting. Handling polymer clay makes it more malleable and easy to shape.
  • - Check the temperature: Bake your creation using an oven thermometer to make sure you are baking at the correct temperature and using the correct baking time. Read the instructions that come with the type of clay you're using to determine the proper temperature and baking time for your project.
  • - Add finishing touches: Once you've baked your piece, you can continue to create! If you want, you can sand, buff, glaze and use acrylic paints on your polymer clay creation to take it to the next level.

How Do You Know When Polymer Clay Is Done Baking?

You will know your clay piece has been cured correctly because it will be difficult to break. However, if it is thin, it may bend easily. Once cured, the clay can be cut or broken cleanly without resulting in a crumbly texture. 

Glean Inspiration From Polymer Oven-Bake Clay Creations 

You may already be thinking about what you can make with polymer oven-bake clay. At Sculpey®, we showcase the best and the latest in polymer clay designs, always striving to inspire people to create with clay. Check out some of the newest polymer clay projects featured on our projects page to see creations like these: